Boom it is summer. Spring is gone. School is over, and beaches are open. It is now officially summertime in the western hemisphere. I guess it must be officially winter in Australia, but that’s their problem. The year 2022 presents itself with a host of situations that are troubling like inflation, and pandemic health issues that linger on but the good news is it is now officially summer in the Hamptons.
Why is called Summer? What is the origin of the actual word? It comes from an old English word “Sumor.” Somehow it became Sumur due to “Proto-German influence.” When you trace the word way back to what historical word experts call the “Proto-Indo-European” era, the word meant “together/one.”
A fun game is to name all the hit songs with the words either Summertime, or Summer. For me I usually pick Johnny River’s “Summer Rain” first. It was a hit when I was going through by boy to teen changes. My folks, being Italians, may have picked Frank Sinatra’s, “Summer Wind.”
My first full summer in the Hamptons was a comedy of events. I actually slept in a small boat that first night and it was hot. So, the first thing the next morning, I jumped into the water right off the boat. It was that shock refreshing reaction of hot to cool we all go through when we jump in. Now I have an East Hampton Non-Resident Beach Pass. Funny thing is when I was an East Hampton resident, I never had a beach pass. I lived 452 steps from the ocean and walked from my front door to the ocean for a swim.
At the beginning of summer, the water is colder than it gets by late August and early September. It takes some bravery to go in those first few times. One time way back in time to the summer of 1972, I jumped into the coldest natural water I ever experienced. Driving from Canada back to the U.S. via a Glacier National Park road that enters in Montana. Along the road was a stream/river and it was midday perhaps around 90 degrees. The “Ford Econoline Van” I was in of course did not have air conditioning. It was ultra-sweaty hot.
My friend whose van it was spotted two young female sunbathers on the other side of the stream/river and stopped, parking alongside the stream. The girls invited us to join them. To do that we had to cross the stream/river. Being 19-year-olds, we dove in to swim across the twenty-thirty feet of separation. We never made it. The glacial waters of the stream/river still actually had remnants of ice flowing in the fast-moving water. We both almost had our hearts stop from cold shock. The girls laughed as we screamed, retreated to the van, and drove off with a lesson learned. That being, “always think before you leap.”
I took a leap when I left my career and NYC life behind to live and sail in the Hamptons for the rest of my life. Although I no longer live in East Hampton Town, I live close enough to get to my sailboat in Gardiner’s Bay still docked in East Hampton a few days every week.
I always enjoy reading Hamptons history. A favorite is a letter composed by a British Commander of the British troops stationed in the Hamptons during the British Occupation of the American Revolution. When the British Army retreated from Boston, many troops were sent to the Hamptons via large British warships that docked in Gardiner’s Bay. This commander wrote home about his first summer in the Hamptons calling it the “most pleasant summer,” he had ever experienced in his life. I can easily believe that.
It is now officially Summertime in the Hamptons. Make it the best ever.